Digital Fabrics Roadmap

Digital Fabrics Roadmap

by Dunja Hoejenbos

November 11 - Digital Fabrics Roadmap

Round table discussion
3D digital platforms have revolutionised the way the industry approaches design and development, but it still falls short when it comes to materials simulation based on physical and mechanical properties. Why? It is the lack of uniformity in how materials are measured across different software systems. In an ideal world, measurements would be standardized to the point that fabric suppliers can provide a swatch of materials complete with all general properties needed to simulate in all and any 3D environment without ever needing to buy a material sample.

This is a round table discussion aimed at finding concrete ways to accelerate, expand and formalize the global standardization work needed as one of the foundations of the digital transformation.


  • Companies and academia united in 3DRC have developed a standard for delivering information about fabrics in a standardized way so that all the software platforms can use it to create the best possible digital representation of a garment.
  • This standard is a large step in the right direction, but fabrics present the main barrier on the quest to the ‘authentic digital garment’. Some large brands will start to ask a ‘digital twin’ from their fabric suppliers already very soon. But there is a lot of work to do in the textile industry to get prepared for this reality. IAF will work closely with its sister federation, ITMF (International Textile Manufacturers Federation) on this.
  • The algorithms used by the software solutions that create digital garments differ. On the one hand, this gives designers and developers a choice among the software they feel best represent the real garments. On the other hand, it may obscure necessary standardization work. There must be a global discussion on the road towards the authentic digital garment and what standardization, education and implementation work is still needed.
  • The IAF’s core members are national industry associations such as the Dutch industry association MODINT. These associations represent mostly manufacturers and small and medium sized brands that all need to be involved more in the development of industry standards to enable a full industry digital transformation. To illustrate how to move forward, IAF and MODINT, with the support of innovation agency have commissioned a Roadmap which they will share with the industry.